Victoria has recorded a near-doubling in daily COVID-19 infections, as the number of hospital patients with the virus continues to rise.
There were 14,020 new cases reported today, surpassing Monday’s record tally of 8,577.
There are now 48,297 active cases of the virus in Victoria, and 720 people have died during the current outbreak.
There are 516 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Victoria, of whom 56 are in intensive care, and 24 are on a ventilator.
The health department said a further 52 people were in ICU whose infections were no longer considered active.
The new cases were detected from 60,515 test results processed yesterday, suggesting close to one in four people who presented for PCR testing were infected.
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On Monday, Health Minister Martin Foley said while there was “every indication” the Omicron variant caused less-severe illness than Delta, that was “more than outweighed” by its infectiousness.
Mr Foley said Victoria appeared set to follow a similar trajectory to New South Wales, which today reported 23,131 new cases and 1,344 hospital patients.
In a bid to protect staffing levels, Victorian health workers who are social or workplace contacts of someone with COVID-19 will soon be able to return to work using rapid antigen testing.
The Victorian government is urging all eligible Victorians to book in for their booster appointments as soon as possible, in a bid to suppress the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Those aged over 18 years who had their second vaccination four or more months ago are now eligible for their third dose.
Children aged five to 11 will become eligible for their first vaccine dose from January 10.
More to come.